Yes we have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for 16 years…the US longest continuous war…..although a war that was never authorized…..and it does not look as if there is an end to this endless tunnel.
But there seems to be those that think the US can withdraw from Afghanistan by the year 2020…..only 3 short years away…..
In an interview today with USA Today, Afghan Ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib raised the possibility that the US occupation of Afghanistan, which began in 2001, might finally be nearing an end, and that it was at least possible the US occupation could end by 2020.
The hope that the US might be able to leave is very tentative, however, as Mohib made it conditional on the assumption that the Afghan military “will be able to have what they need to carry on the fight on their own for the most part.” This is not the first time the Afghan military was expected to be ready to handle the Taliban, of course.
Rampant corruption and flagging morale have hindered that time and again, however, with a significant portion of Afghanistan’s military dogged by “ghost troops” that exist only on paper, and only to draw a salary that can be embezzled by officials.
Bold words…..idle words…..is this possible the US could get out of Afghanistan in 3 years?
The International Crisis Group has issued a report that may crap all over that optimistic prediction…..
Two and a half years after it was created to prevent the bitterly contested 2014 presidential election from plunging Afghanistan into turmoil, the future of the National Unity Government (NUG) is shaky, as is broader political stability. The NUG is beset with internal disagreements and discord and facing a resurgent insurgency. Several options are being discussed in Afghan and international circles for how best to tackle the political and constitutional tensions that, if left unresolved, would increase the risk of internal conflict and insecurity in an already fragile state. The only promising way forward is for the two protagonists, President Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdullah Abdullah, to acknowledge that the stability of their government and country requires them to work together.
Personally, I am not holding my breath…..there are too many variables in this conflict to make an accurate prediction 3 years down the road.